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Budget at a glance

Highlights Part I(a)
Highlights Part I(b)
Highlights Part I(c)
Highlights Part II
Speech Part I(a)
Speech Part I(b)
Speech Part I(c)
Speech Part I(d)
Speech Part II
Budget at a glance

Budget 1998-99
Budget 1997-98
Budget 1996-97


Budget at a glance

14 new passenger trains will be introduced
Railways proposed to introduce 14 new passenger trains, increase the frequency of four trains and extend destinations of ten trains during the financial year beginning April 1st , 1999.
The proposed new trains are:
Chennai - Tirupati Shatabadi Express
Shalimar - Haldia (Shalimar-Haldia) Intercity Express
Secunderabad - Machhilipatnam Express
Mumbai - Sawantwadi - Madgaon Intercity Express
Kurla - Patna Superfast Express (bi-weekly)
Amritsar - Darbhanga Express via Narkatiaganj (bi-weekly)
Jaipur - Bangalore Express via Secunderabad (bi-weekly)
Guwahati - Chennai Express (bi-weekly)
Delhi - Gandhidham Express (bi-weekly)
Delhi - Coimbatore Express (weekly)
Pune - Ernakulam Express (weekly)
Raichur - Gulbarga Intercity Service
Kamakhya-new Bongaigaon passenger
Patna - Mughalsarai passenger via gaya.
Rs.350 crore for Electrification projects
An outlay of Rs.350 crore has been provided for railway electrification with a target of electrifying 500km route. The following sections would be electrified during the current financial year Ernakululam-Tiruvananthapuram, Mughalsarai-Zafrabad (as the first phase of Mughalsarai-Lucknow via Sultanpur), Patna-Gaya, Tambaram-Chengalpattu-Villupuram and Chengalpattu- Arakkonam.
Work on these projects would be taken up after obtaining the requisite clearances.
The railways had a target of electrifying 2,300 route km as partof the 9th 5year plan out of which 445 route km was completed in 1997-98 and another 500 route km would be completed in the current financial year.
Measures to increase railway revenue
Special package for the steel sector to attract traffic to railways.
Innovative marketing efforts were being made to increase loading on the railways including a special package for the steel sector to attract traffic to railways. Railways hopes to increase loading of other goods traffic rather than depend only on core traffic like coal, iron and steel, raw materials for steel plants.
Railways have reduced the classification of some commodities and have given 'volume discount' so that it became more competitive. in addition, the facility of two-point rake loading has been provided at some stations and supply of rakes is being made in less than 48 hours.
Container Corporation (CONCOR) is running trains at 100 km per hour with wagons of new and advanced technology between Delhi and Jawaharlal Nehru Port in mumbai. this has reduced the transit time between Delhi and Mumbai from 95 to 48 hours, he said.
CONCOR also proposed to run 40 CONTRACK trains every month to provide guaranteed transit services for expensive goods such as television, refrigerators and air conditioners. he said.
Hefty increase in upper class fares
Proposal for a hefty increase in upper class passenger fares, a modest raise on sleeper and an across-the-board four per cent hike in freight and parcel rates on all commodities to mop up an additional rs 900 crore a year.
Reduced core sector demands hits rail freight traffic
A reduced demand from core sector commodities such as coal, foodgrains, iron and steel, cement and iron ore is expected to result in railways moving less freight during the current financial year compared to 1997-98.
Railways is expected to ferry 424 million tonnes this fiscal against a target of 450 million tonnes.
The projected figure is less than the 429.30 million tonnes moved by railways in 1997-98, almost achieving the target of 430 million tonnes.
'with the drop in freight traffic, it is expected that there will be a shortfall of rs 1,056 crore in the earnings as compared to the target for the year, despite increase in passenger, other coaching and sundry earnings'.
however, loading of petroleum products, fertilisers and 'other goods' was higher than budgetary target as well as actuals of 1997-98.
As a result of the fall in freight traffic, receipts from gross traffic had been scaled down to Rs 30,416 crore from Rs 31,472 crore, the minister said, adding as a result of the fifth pay commission recommendations payment of pension dues rose to Rs 3,830 crore from Rs 2,300 crore.
But in an effort to make up the revenue shortfall, railways had saved Rs 345 crore in non-plan expenditure.
No more interviews for railway recruitment
Candidates seeking railway jobs are no longer required to face interviews after they qualify in written tests conducted by the railway recruitment board.
Railway Minister Nitish Kumar said, 'in order to eliminate even the slightest possibility of favouritism, i have decided that for most of the categories, the system of interviews after the written examination will be done away with.'
He said experience showed that in the selection procedure, there was possibility of favouritism during interviews.
'The recruitment process has been made transparent and the possibility of corrupt practices has been eliminated,' he said.
Based on the results of this change, the railways would continue with its endeavour to further improve the recruitment process so that the selection of meritorious candidates was ensured, he added.
More sops for accredited scribes
Accredited press correspondents to get 50 per cent concession in all classes for journeys up to 30,000 kms in a year.
correspondents accredited rpt accredited to government of india, state governments and district headquarters can get the facility by purchasing coupon books.
Earlier, correspondents were issued coupon books at 25 per cent concession in first class fares and 50 per cent concession in second and sleeper class fares for journeys up to 2,500 km per month.
More concessions for handicapped
Orthopaedically handicapped and paraplegic persons with their escorts to get 75 per cent concession in air-conditioned three tier and air-conditioned chair car.
In addition, 50 per cent concession will be given in other air-conditioned classes, he said presenting the 1999- 2000 rail budget in lok sabha

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